Who is connecting, succeeding, and taking their ideas to the next level with swissnex San Francisco?
To connect the dots between Switzerland and North America in science, education, art, and innovation. More
At a Glance
We are a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas. We help expand networks and facilitate partnerships between Swiss and North American academics, creative thinkers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. We create opportunities by sharing our office, hosting out-of-the-box events, working under several mandates for a diverse set of clients, connecting thought leaders, and offering a global perspective and local expertise within the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
We are a public-private venture and an initiative of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), managed in cooperation with the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs as an annex of the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco. swissnex San Francisco is part of a knowledge network in Bangalore, Boston, Shanghai, and Rio de Janeiro, along with individual science counselors around the world, working to connect the dots.
Founded: Nov 2003
Budget: ~USD $2.7M
Visitors & Interactions: ~5,500/year
Companies/Organizations Sharing Our Office: 10
Number of swissnexes Globally: 5
In 1997, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research announced they were looking for a Swiss science and technology counselor to be based in San Francisco. Christian Simm, swissnex San Francisco’s future founder, was intrigued. Up until this point, counselors were typically located at centers of science policy rather than at innovation hubs, as the Bay Area and Silicon Valley had become.
Simm signed on, and it wasn’t long before the roots of swissnex took hold. Wherever he went, whomever he told about working in the region, people wanted in. Companies, scientists, and innovators in Switzerland expressed interest in sending representatives, while Swiss organizations already in the Silicon Valley were ready to team up. Simm was beginning to connect the dots, and he soon envisioned creating an office that embraced a cooperative model in which science, business, innovation, and diplomacy shared a roof and encouraged interaction. Private donors supported the idea, the Swiss government signed off on the experimental approach to diplomacy, and swissnex was born.
A similar model was taking shape on the East Coast, and in October 2000, swissnex Boston opened, followed by swissnex San Francisco’s official launch in 2003. For the first public event, Switzerland’s Alinghi team, defender of America’s cup, drew crowds. At our grand opening, industrial designer Yves Behar spoke on coming up with our logo and Lexicon Branding outlined their approach to creating the swissnex name, which combines the words Switzerland, nexus, and next. Today, the swissnex network is expanding and swissnex San Francisco continues to connect the dots between Switzerland and North America in science, education, art, and innovation.
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